Despite signing a four-year, $120 million deal with FanDuel last year, Pat McAfee seems to have made it clear that he’s exploring his options when it comes to finding a long-term home for the extremely successful The Pat McAfee Show.
McAfee sent a message last week when he posted a photo of himself and Disney CEO Bob Iger on social media, fueling speculation that he might be angling to join ESPN in a larger role than his College GameDay appearances.
A weatherman and a truck driver’s kid chatted about life today.#UpToSomethingSZN pic.twitter.com/NPUCkln5N7
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 20, 2023
On Friday, McAfee mentioned during his show that he had actually had six different meetings last week, though he was pretty vague on with who.
“I decided to schedule six meetings,” he said. “Let’s go out to LA, schedule six meetings with everybody. I talked to some incredible human beings. People I never could have guessed being in the room with, I’m chatting with talking about life and a potential future and how they view it and what future business looks like.
“I will not list every human that I met with yesterday, because that would be what we call a ‘poor-leverage decision.’ It would be bad business.”
He did specifically mention the Iger meeting, saying that it wasn’t initially on the agenda.
“That got added late,” he said. “It was a late addition to the meeting lineup out there.”
“I don’t think that’s definitely happening. I think it’s possible,” Marchand said of McAfee joining ESPN. “I think NBC’s in on it. Even though I don’t know this for certain, I could see Fanatics as a wild card. Amazon we’ve mentioned, they’ve seemed to maybe not be in the lead at the moment. McAfee’s kinda a wild card in terms of what he’ll do and so there’s no telling of what exactly he’ll do.”
Marchand noted that the optics might not be great for ESPN to sign McAfee right now given all of the layoffs and cost-cutting they’re doing. However, what’s good for business is good for business.
“The idea that you just laid off all these people and then you add Pat McAfee is kinda weird,” said Marchand. “McAfee, they might look at as this is a chance that he’s the hottest young talk show host and there’s a chance to get him on your air and that might make sense. I’ve been told that they’ll only do it if it makes financial sense.”
Even if he doesn’t move his show to ESPN, McAfee will be on the network next year for College GameDay and could possibly do more simulcasts during the college football season.
“I am definitely on College GameDay for one more year. Definitely. That is a definite situation. After that, the conversation’s pending,” McAfee said in March.